Monday, June 6, 2016

The Beginning of the End - Week 52

Now hold up. I know that probably sounds pretty dark and dreary but I found it fitting for this time in my mission. This week officially marks my 1 year on a mission and the beginning of the 2nd year here in France. Time has gone by really quick and it's going to be a fast last year.

Now to get on to the week I guess.

Right now in France, there is this huge strike that's going on which has basically canceled almost all of the trains which all the missionaries take for transportation so there hasn't been much traveling going on here for once in my mission! That didn't keep us from leaving the city though. But first to the beginning of the week. We went knocking doors earlier this week and after a few doors we knocked, we actually got let in for one of the first times in my missions. And let me tell ya, I've knock quite a few doors. Well after talking with them and getting through the restoration lesson with them, they basically said they let us in because they wanted to know what we really did but they weren't interested in what we shared. They said they had their beliefs in nature but they were really nice when we talked with them.

We had this rendez vous with a newer-ish member here in Gap. I'm still trying to get to know everyone here since about 80% of the branch lives way outside of the city. But we got talking with her and got to her conversion story and it never ceases to amaze me how there always seems to be a lot of things that brings them to the church somehow. French members always love to share their stories of their conversions too. But the rendez vous ended with us translating an American cookie recipe she has into French.

We have been going through our area book a lot recently with all the people who missionaries have contacted over the years and tried calling a few. We ended up getting through to this guy who is a coach of the hockey team here in Gap, which happens to be the best in France apparently. He is actually from Rhode Island and has known the missionaries for like 40 years or something. Pretty crazy. But after talking for a little while, he went and showed us all the service that missions have done for him over the years. Built him a sauna and dug out this huge cave under his house and a few other things. Crazy stuff. I mean it's free service so why not right?

Thursday I actually spent down in Manosque with one of the guys there. We did some contacting and all that good stuff but we were mostly looking for someone they had talked to a few days earlier and said they'd meet outside the post office the day before but the missionaries forgot to go. Well after eating dinner, Elder Strong showed me a little bit around the inner city that actually used to be a castle with some huge walls around it and we went down this random alley way and on the other end of it was the guy we were looking for. We ended up teaching him again and I think he even went to church down there yesterday. Pretty cool stuff I'd say.

Our apartment here is a little bit older and so our stove actually runs off of propane from a gas tank that is hooked up in a cabinet right next to it. Well we were cooking dinner on Friday night and our tank ran out. After carrying around this empty tank for an hour looking for somewhere to exchange it, we eventually gave up and hid it in the bushes to grab in the morning and went and got some fried chicken for dinner. Then in the morning we went and grabbed it again and actually found a place to exchange it. At least the gas stove cooks things faster.

At church yesterday, we had a broadcast that was done in Salt Lake for all of the stakes in Western Europe. Well one of the speakers for it was Bishop Caussé, who originally did his talk in English but actually rerecorded it into French. It was pretty sweet to actually hear French from him instead of the normal guy who translates all the church things into French.

Well that about wraps things up. I think I'll be spending all week here in Gap so we'll see what we can do! Love you all. Have a great week!

Blake